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10 to Watch in '24 | Ethan Sanders

After a memorable 2023 which saw him lead the Parramatta Eels to their first UNE SG Ball Premiership since 2017, halfback Ethan Sanders cemented himself as an emerging force for many years to come. 

Scoring the opening try for the Eels in their 28-22 win, Sanders stepped up on the biggest stage of his budding career at that point, making a statement as one of the upcoming halves to keep an eye on. 

Off the back of an impressive SG Ball campaign, Sanders was named Player of the Match for the Grand Final along with Parramatta’s SG Ball Player of the Year and Players’ Player at the Eels Junior Reps presentation night. 

The halfback finished the Junior Representative season with four tries, eight try assists, six line-breaks, 31 tackle-busts and 32 goals. 

Sanders continued his strong form into the back end of 2023, being named at halfback for the CABE NSW Under 19s State of Origin team. He helped the team to their second-consecutive win as they retained the shield for another year. 

The halfback scored an impressive long-range try for NSW, had five tackle-busts, 79 run metres and 323 kick metres. 

Sanders capped off the season playing 12 games for the Eels’ Jersey Flegg Cup team and leading them into the Preliminary Final – their first Jersey Flegg Finals campaign since 2018.

With the 19-year-old earning himself a development contract with the Eels for the 2024 season, he will be pushing for even more success on the football field in the years to come. 

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